Passion for storytelling about ginger bread houses and wedding photography
Silvia Falcomer is an Amsterdam based “destination” or travel photographer, Italian by birth and a cultural anthropologist by education. Silvia’s passion for storytelling through photography has caused her to move to The Netherlands a few years ago, and that is how her adventures as an expat began. I met her for a Q&A session, and below you can read more about her story and perhaps get inspired.
Where did your passion for photography start and how did your career begin?
The passion for photography started when I was very little, my mum used to work in a photo lab and both of my parents loved photography. I was playing around with their Minolta camera and the idea of becoming a photographer was always in the back of my mind. It was not easy for me though to make the decision to step into the freelance world, but one day I decided to give my dream a try no matter what and I did it in The Netherlands.
And even though that I’m an impatient person I’ve learned to give time to myself, my work, my life. Everything comes into the right place if you trust your path and you work hard for it.
Can you tell us about your decision to move to Amsterdam?
The love for the city started four years ago when I visited Amsterdam just for a weekend, I rented a bike and got around the city. While biking I was thinking that one day I will be living here in a ginger bread house and I will get around with my own bike. Two years later I made it happen. I developed a passion for the visual storytelling and in weddings I saw the best realization of what I had in mind. I wanted to combine my passion for photography and my love for Amsterdam, so I moved, and after two years I’m still here enjoying my job and my life.
What are the main challenges that you are facing on your path?
The main struggle is being a foreigner, since I communicate only in English and so far I don’t have a knowledge of Dutch and it’s difficult to get approached by locals, because I’m still little known in Holland. I started here from scratch, I didn’t know anyone when I came here. Now my work is growing, and even though that I’m an impatient person I’ve learned to give time to myself, my work, my life. Everything comes into the right place if you trust your path and you work hard for it.
I stopped looking at other photographers or Instagram. I found that it was disturbing and too overwhelming for my creativity.
What are the main differences between working in your home country and The Netherlands?
I see differences in the weddings style of course, due to the different cultures, but working here is basically the same as working in Italy because of the same approach. I actually do both, I shoot weddings in Holland and Italy and sometimes I travel to other international destinations.
What was your photography education: school/workshops/self-taught?
I’m completely self-taught, in the beginning I shot every single day, I was shooting everyone and everything at every time of the day, that way I learned how to handle light and composition.
I’m a cosmopolitan and a gipsy at heart.
Can you tell us what your job means to you? What do you desire to express with your photos?
I studied anthropology and now I see that my studies fit in my actual work. Being a destination wedding photographer allows me to step into different kind of cultures. I like to capture emotions, that’s what my work is all about. I like simplicity, beautiful light but also moody settings.
What is the biggest source of inspiration in your work?
I find inspiration in my travels and in people I meet. But mainly inspiration comes from inside – what makes my heart beat faster. For instance, I stopped looking at other photographers or Instagram. I found that it was disturbing and too overwhelming for my creativity. I’d rather spend more time in the nature, doing things I like.
Please tell us what you like to do when you aren’t shooting?
When I’m not working you can find me exploring Amsterdam or Holland in general. I love drinking coffee with my friends and traveling. Every time I have few days off I book a flight to new destinations, it makes me feel so alive.
Do you have any advice for beginning photographers and other entrepreneurs?
The only advice that I can give it’s to start. You will always think “I’m not ready, I’m not good enough”. We will never be, just start and practice, practice, practice. And love. You must love every single minute of your work, because sometimes it can be pretty hard, but very rewarding in the end.
Where/what is home to you?
There is no single “home” for me, because home is where my heart is and my heart is everywhere. I feel like Amsterdam is home but also my hometown because of my family and friends. I’m a cosmopolitan and a gipsy at heart.
As a destination photographer, what are your favorite locations and where are you looking forward to shooting next?
I’m going to shoot a beautiful wedding in the USA, and cannot wait for it! All the weddings I’m going to shoot are beautiful, different and special on their own. I’m already in love with all my couples.
Silvia’s most up-to-date photography portfolio can be found on her website www.silviafalcomer.com.
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